The Cloud Forest School in the Monteverde Region of Costa Rica once again welcomed four Proctor Academy sophomores to their spectacular rain forests and generous host family homes for the Spring Term. This unique off-campus program allows a select group of tenth graders to study abroad while continuing their core sophomore classes at the Cloud Forest School. After four weeks of living, learning, and exploring Costa Rica, Auggie '19, Ellie '19, Will '19, and Asher '19 share photos and reflections on their term abroad to date!
As I arrived in Monteverde, I hopped into a car and met my host family for the first time. All of a sudden as I sat down, three dogs jumped onto my lap and started to frantically lick my face and jumped around the car with loads of energy. It was a short drive from where I was picked up to my house. The house that I’m living in is small with a huge living room. For the first couple of days I would hang out in the living room with my family. We would play dominos, card games, and watch soccer on the tv. My host mother is one of the nicest people I have met. She is very bubbly and loves conversations in spanish. I have a little host brother who loves to play soccer with me and whenever he wants to play he says to me “Jugamos Bolla August!”
Living with a host family is easier than I thought it would be. At first, I thought that living with a family miles and miles away from my home and family and friends would be one of the most difficult times of my life, but it turns out that it is one of the most enjoyable times of my life. I try to push myself to speak spanish with my family as much as I can, and usually when I do try I can hold decent conversations. The food here is definitely a bit different than the states. At first, the different food took awhile to get used to. For example, one morning for breakfast I was expecting maybe some eggs or pancakes, but instead, I got some rice and beans and a sunny side up egg. So that was a bit of a surprise, but all in all, I love living with my host and having new and funny experiences every day.
When I arrived a couple of weeks ago, I was greeted by the Mata family. My host mom gave me a huge hug, and my host dad helped me with my bags. My host parents' names are Maribel and Felix, they have four children, but only their youngest daughter lives with them. My host sisters name is Wanda, she is eleven years old and goes to the CEC as well. At first the language barrier was a challenge, to say the least. After a couple days of settling in and becoming more comfortable with my family, I began to speak more freely.
A couple of days after arriving I showed my host family a photo album that I brought, showing them pictures of my family, friends, and things I love to do. At the end of the first week I went to church with them, I barely understood anything, but it was a good experience to share with them. We went out to dinner afterwards, at that point I was really comfortable with them. Speaking Spanish is a challenge, but they are helping me learn the language better. I have learned so much Spanish by just listening and communicating with my host family.